a not so doomy doomsday

Coral reefs are undoubtedly suffering from the effects of global warming but the story might not be as sad as expected.  BBC recently published an article telling the story of coral reefs throughout the Pacific bouncing back to life after a massive heatwave in 1998. It had previously been predicted that it would take the corals 100 years to make a full recovery, but a mere 15 years later and it seems that the reefs are back in action.

Shallow bleaching corals at sunset, Papua New Guinea (Photo credit: Jurgen Freund / NPL)
Shallow bleaching corals at sunset, Papua New Guinea (Photo credit: Jurgen Freund / NPL)

For the full story click here to visit BBC’s website.

tiny cows of the sea

As many of you may know, there is an on going war in Kāneʻohe Bay, a war against invasive algae species, Kappaphycus alvarezii & Eucheuma spp.  While TNC’s Supersucker operation is designed to remove the algae in large sums, it is nearly impossible for the crew to remove every piece of algae; a detrimental feat since these two algae species reproduce by fragmentation.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Luckily, over the past years, it was discovered that a native species of sea urchin loves to munch on this smothering algae.  Tripneustes gratilla, or collector urchins, are outplanted in areas after the Supersucker has came through and removed the algae to a level in which these “tiny cows of the reef” can come and graze away, just as cows do in pastures of grass.  This keeps the algae at a maintainable level,  a level to which it wonʻt grow back at an unmanageable rate.
These little treasures are grown from wild collected gametes at the Anuenue Fishery Research Center (AFRC), a state run facility operated by the Division of Aquatic Resources, where they are grown to about the size of a dime before taken and released on patch reefs in Kāneʻohe Bay.  Once a week, a group of TNC staff members volunteers at the urchin hatchery, sorting the toddler urchins by size and cleaning the urchin condos they live in.

Urban Algae

Everyone loves algae right? We (& the fishes) love to eat it, it makes our poke that much more ono, its used in medications and even cosmetics, and most importantly it provides oxygen, via photosynthesis.

Cloud Collective, a firm in Europe, has taken the love of algae to a whole new level and has put it to a practical use in the fight against urban carbon dioxide levels.


They have constructed a suspended algae farm above a highway in Switzerland.  This algae farm is designed to capitalize on the algae’s naturally occurring photosynthetic process; the algae thrives on the abundance of sunlight and carbon dioxide produced by the traffic, filtering the air and releasing oxygen along the way.   The algae can then be extracted and used to produce fuel, electricity and even in foods.

What do you say? We say this is just what Honolulu needs!!!

To learn more about this project and their other innovations visit Cloud Collective’s website.



Looking to get your foot in the door of the conservation realm?  This is your chance!!! The Nature Conservancy has re-opened the application process for Kupu Extended Internship Program (EIP) interns! This is a great introductory chance to work with your boots on the ground or fins in the water in conservation .

Currently there are three positions available on Oʻahu, Maui, and Kauaʻi.  The position on Oʻahu is for the Supersucker operation in Kāneʻohe Bay, a marine intern position on Maui, and to work in the extensive TNC forest preserves on Kauaʻi.

Kirsten on her first day on the job as the Kupu EIP intern on TNC’s Supersucker operation, October 2013.

Don’t forget, two of us three fellows started out as Kupu interns on the Supersucker, this could be your big break!

To learn more about the positions available visit Kupu’s website & to  view the application, click here.

spooky spooky ugly

Anglerfish don’t only dress up just for Halloween like us, they are daily masters of disguise and costume changes.  Female anglerfish come in many shapes, colors, and shades of ugly while the male anglerfish are tiny & often unexciting.  Deep sea anglerfish (also called black devils) use their photophore & bioluminescence to attract unsuspecting prey, how spooky and evil!

Make like an anglerfish and have a spooky, happy, & safe Halloween!


Congratulations to Hāʻena and DLNR on making history last Friday! Hāʻena received their Community Based Subsistence Fishing Area (CBSFA) designation from the State of Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources.  Moving forward, the community will be able to manage their resources on a more local and traditional level.  It has been at least a decade in the making, with countless public meetings and drafts to their proposed rules, but last week it all became a reality.  Mālama pono.

Photo Credit: Sean Marrs
Photo Credit: Sean Marrs

For the full story please visit The Garden IslandHawaii News Now, and DLNR.

he puko’a ku no ka moana

he pūkoʻa kani ʻāina
“a coral reef that grows into an island”

A person beginning in a small way gains steadily until he becomes firmly established. // Just like a single polyp that grows into a coral head that builds into an island, start small, slowly build, & persevere towards your larger goals.

The Journey of Three Marine Fellows


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